Raya and the Last Dragon begins streaming on Disney+ the same day it hits theaters, but not every subscriber will be comfortable with the steep extra cost. The movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios was initially scheduled to debut in November 2020. Due to the release date shuffling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Raya and the Last Dragon was delayed until March 2021. Aside from the new date, Disney announced the film would be accessible to Disney+ subscribers with Premier Access, following in the footsteps of Mulan’s release strategy.
Directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, Raya and the Last Dragon centers of the mystical world of Kumandra, a land in which humans and dragons once lived harmoniously. The dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity from monsters, but 500 years later, those creatures known as the Druun return. Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) makes it her mission to find the last surviving dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), in an attempt to save the world from the Druun. Inspired by Southeast Asian cultures, Raya and the Last Dragon also features a voice cast that includes Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, and Benedict Wong.
Though the new Disney animated movie is releasing theatrically, much of the population is still wary at the prospect of visiting movie theaters. Since strict protocols went into effect throughout many US states, the movie-going experience has drastically changed. As more customers focus on streaming and VOD for major releases, Disney+ decided to put Raya and the Last Dragon on the service with an extra Premier Access cost of $29.99. The one-time fee on Disney+ allows the buyer to watch the film as many times as they would like. Based on the rave reviews surrounding Raya and the Last Dragon, the price may very well be worth it, considering a family would probably spend more money during a trip to the theater. That said, some factors could deter users from spending the Premier Access pricetag.
The fact that Raya and the Last Dragon can be viewed an unlimited number of times through Premier Access might be appealing to families with kids who enjoy rewatching titles over and over. That said, those who tend to be one-time viewers should probably hold off from paying the extra cost. Disney+ users have until May 4, 2021, to buy Raya and the Last Dragon, but the movie will arrive just a month later for all subscribers at no additional cost. Unless the purchaser intends to watch the movie multiple times or has a group to split the costs with, it’s better off waiting for the exclusive access to disappear.
When Disney unveiled the Premier Access option to coincide with Mulan’s release, Disney+ subscribers were understandably confused why they were required to spend extra money on a service they already paid for. On the other hand, Mulan was intended for theatrical release, and the same goes for Raya and the Last Dragon. It makes sense why Disney is implementing the Premier Access strategy, considering the costs put into these projects. They have to make an effort to earn back a large chunk of the budget before making movies accessible to larger portions of the public. There’s truly no right or wrong choice for buying Raya and the Last Dragon through Premier Access because it all depends on financial factors and personal viewing habits.